(2017) It Comes at Night

I encourage everyone not to read this review before seeing the film. I’ll obviously do my best not reveal any spoilers but to me, everything is a spoiler when it comes to this one.

I’m almost finished with my year of horror movies, 4 more to go I believe but this one may have surprised me the most. First off, the marketing for it was excellent and frankly, everywhere. All of the sudden I HAD to see this film despite knowing nothing about the plot. Take fucking notes people, this is exactly what the film community wants. It revealed just enough to get our interest and the rest left as mystery.

The acting is superb, all of it. It’s so immersive that I didn’t even consider the acting once while I was watching it. They made the scenario they conjured up, about as realistic as possible.

This just wasn’t what I was expecting and this entire project has almost come full circle to mock me. The film took everything I’ve come to know about horror movies in general and tossed them out of the window. All my preconceived notions, real time predictions and plot pattern awareness were voided.

I’m psyched to see this getting the recognition it deserves but I’m also somewhat surprised that most people are finding any value in it. It’s a great film though and one that everyone should see in its entirety.

9.5/10

 

(2003) Identity

It’s going to be nearly impossible to say anything worthwhile about this film without spoiling it.

John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet all give some great performances. The atmosphere is really uniquely rigid as well as the characters being a bit too confined to their stereotypes so-to-speak. I don’t mean they’re necessarily campy, just delightfully strange, enough to get you wondering what the fuck is going on.

The last 30 minutes is just a non-stop- um, shit, I can’t even think of any adjectives that won’t ruin it. Just give this one a watch, it’s packed full of great mystery and it’s really intense.

8/10

(2000) Fail Safe

Another TV movie but with the billed cast, you wouldn’t even know it. Everything George Clooney does is fantastic, incredible actor. So is Don Cheadle, their chemistry is admirable.

Fail Safe basically all takes place in one room, which is something I have grown to love over the years. It really forces filmmakers to have to tell a good story in a creative way.

This is a Cold War film made in 2000 but some of the military mechanics felt almost like science fiction. It added another layer that I wasn’t expecting.

It’s really well paced and almost always tense. The ending really drives that home, seriously dark. My only one partial complaint might be (and I’m not even sure about this) the final frame. It feels both chilling and ever-so-slightly goofy.

Anyways, definitely check this one out if you’ve been following along this month and enjoy these Cold War TV movies.

7/10

(1978) The Shout

The Shout masquerades as a quick pitched horror idea but really, this film is a horrific, non-linear rabbit hole for psychotic delusion and crisis of identity.

This may be the first film I’ve seen, attempt to explain, without explaining, why someone compelled to walk on all fours is so creepy. It embraces physical manifestations of discomfort with artful tactic, constantly using suggestion over explanation.

Our protagonist Anthony seems to suffer from a serious inferiority complex. It’s not something that’s readily apparent and because of this, his patience with our villain Charles, seems almost silly at first. This complaint for me was very quickly washed away when I realized the complex nature of their relationship, as well as the jumbled timeline of the film itself.

The ending is something so ahead of its time. It can easily be criticized or written off completely as being overly confusing but I believe it was very much intentionally left to interpretation.

I’m fucking blown away, absolute incredible film.

9/10

(1962) Premature Burial

Eh, this was alright. The set design was pretty great and the lighting was especially excellent. Highly commendable for the time period.

I’m not even sure what else to say. I feel like Corman was really missing Price with this one. Although my biggest complaints come not necessarily from the actors but the designed characters they play. The worst was the doctor at the end, who essentially announces someones death just by looking at them from 5 ft away and says the 1960’s equivalent of “dude, he’s fuccin dead”.

I also just realized that I enjoy these early 60’s horror films much like I would enjoy a play. After a while you’re able to train yourself to not focus on the lack of realism and just kind of see a story being played out. “Played” out…heh.

6/10

(1971) Malpertuis

This film is undoubtably one of the most interesting haunted house films I’ve seen to date. It’s also remarkably ahead of its time. I should mention that it’s going to be difficult to praise this in depth without spoiling the big mystery so I’ll keep things someone vague.

To get it out of the way, this is a totally imperfect movie. That’s largely in part due to the acting, which isn’t always top notch. While essential to making sense of the plot, any scenes with Orson Wells on his deathbed felt very tedious and boring. Fortunately, the ending does offer an explanation for the strange acting (which obviously wasn’t intentional).

As a whole though, this film is a wonderfully lustful, malicious story that compulsively unravels all the way towards a very strong ending. A couple things about the ending; one, it’s a modern cliche but not a cliche for 1971. Two, it’s very appropriate give the message of the film.

I did kind of fill in a lot of gaps myself that the film’s plot doesn’t explicitly state but I think my explanations are plausible enough that I can fully recommend this film. It’s been criticized for being incomprehensible without prior knowledge of the filmmakers intentions but the allegorical aspects only rely on some basic knowledge that most people have.

7.5/10

(1976) The Tenant

This was fantastic, too much to mention that would be potential plot spoilers but Polanski is actually a fine actor. It must be so nice to have a vision and be able to literally execute it yourself.

There were definitely a lot of themes borrowed from Repulsion, such as general disgust and paranoia but with an original and refreshing story. The setup seemed exceptionally natural for the time period and I could actually relate to his character.

The only other things to note were the genuine scares. I had a few definite “oh fuck” moments which is always worth mentioning.

I apologize my night is winding down and I wish I could praise this more but it’s an excellent movie with a surprising ending. I watched it in pieces due to a crazy weekend but it’s really engaging.

7.5/10